He once wrote a poem for me.
Okay, he didn’t write it FOR me. To be exact, I was there with him at the food court one day after school when he penned it down. Alright, alright, another girl friend was there too, though I couldn’t find fault with her presence because it was her who brought the two of us together as friends. Although I thought she got slightly jealous when we quickly became very close friends, much better than either of us with her.
It was one fine afternoon after lunch when he suddenly remembered a poem he made up in his mind on his way to school this morning. He asked for some paper (that fellow never bothered to bring foolscap to school) and he wrote it down on the spot in less than 15 minutes with some minor help from me. He didn’t write it for me, nor with me in mind, but mind you, he did give it to me after he completed it. He didn’t seem to bother to save it for his own keeping.
Recently, I thought of putting it up on this blog because it was a lovely piece of work. It was in Chinese and each word at the start of each paragraph joined together to make a line of its own. I think it was something that went along the line of 风雨你我她. It was about a girl, and yes, he did have someone in his thoughts when he came up with this poem. I didn’t know about it until later and I actually knew the girl personally.
Anyway you all will never have the chance to read that impressive piece of work written by a then-17-year-old boy because I believe I’ve thrown it away. I haven’t remember to check yet but I think that’s what happened. This is also the fate of all correspondence between the two of us. In case you wonder whether your cards or letters to me all ended up in the bin as well, no they are still safe in my drawer. I keep every single letter and card from my friends and back in those days in school before we relied so much on technology, we used to write each other letters on a regular basis. In fact, I’ve so many from friends whom I’m still very close to, that they’re causing me a headache for taking up so much space. Yet I truly can’t bear to throw any away although I never take them out to read – I can’t bear to read some of the childish (but hey perfectly normal for that age) nonsense we used to gush about. (-.-)
So why had all his stuff ended up in the incinerator? I guess you could count me as the type of girl who tears up every single letter and photo of her ex and then burns them. Except that we weren’t in a romantic relationship. But all the same, our friendship ended. Cruelly put to a stop by me. I said cruel because I left him at his most vulnerable when his soul was being torn apart and tormented by his parents’ ugly divorce and I was the only one whom he talked to about it. I said cruel because he didn’t have a freaking idea what happened. However, to be truthful, neither did I!!! Up till now, I’m still unsure why I did what I did.
Was it because I liked him more than a friend (I think) but he didn’t (at least at that point of time)?
Was it because he felt that I was his BEST friend?
He never said that in my face. It was my buddy P who told me and he knew because a girl friend who knew that P and I were friends told him. I presumed that this girl liked the guy (not P, but I think she might have a thing for P too because he’s cute) because she was always trying to hang around him (yes, he was cute too), and she probably asked him about me because they all knew we were tight. I don’t know how any normal girl should have felt upon hearing this kind of information. Perhaps happy because the guy you like actually thinks that you are his BESTEST friend (meaning maybe, just maybe, you’ve a chance)?
I’m not normal so I wouldn’t know and I’m not normal because I was MORTIFIED upon hearing that. In fact, I think my response to P was “We are best friends meh?!“. I suppose I never ever expected him to think of me that way, even though he did confide in me about his troubles including his parents’ divorce and the family meetings which would make him cry all night. Even though I myself would never have revealed such secrets except to my few closest friends. But I never thought of myself as important to him because while I was almost somehow always there when he needed a comforting listening ear, I could never reach him when I was worried about him.
Well, that’s because I never had his phone number nor his pager number (no handphones then)! Nor did he have mine! And what bothered me was that he had never asked me for it. (-.-) Where got good friends don’t have each other’s contact numbers one?? And I’d too much unneccesary pride to ask for his at that time. I think what hurt me the most was what he said on a few occasions, whether unintentionally or purposely but all the same hurting to a very sensitive person, that made me feel like being a nuisance around him.
It came to a point where I was getting upset way too often for my liking over what he said or did and it was all too much for my poor little fist-sized heart to bear (besides I’ve congential heart problem). I made up my mind to end it all one fine day. My method was primitive, simple but super effective: I simply stopped talking to him and avoided him on purpose. For someone who lived 2 blocks away from him, took the same bus at the same bus stop with him to and from school, purposely waited for his class to end so that I could accidentally bump into him at the school bus stop and take the bus home together, this was drastic and not easy but it definitely worked. Despite being clueless about what struck him all of a sudden, he took the hint pretty fast. He never avoided me on purpose but he knew not to try and talk to me anymore when we happened to meet each other (I would pretend not to see him anyway).
That really did it. It ended our friendship. Or rather I put an end to it.
Do I ever regret it?
I regret it with every passing day. Not because if I’d stayed by him, things might have worked out between the two of us. I harbour no such thoughts. I can never be the Wong Li Lin in that “Leap Years” movie, waiting for her beau for 12 long years. If I like you and you don’t reciprocate, I pack my feelings up and leave (looking for the next better port) with suavity. I don’t think I have a problem with that. I regret leaving him when he needed a friend the most. Even for me, I honestly felt that it was almost inhumane. It’s like giving someone struggling in the middle of the sea a lifebuoy and then pulling it back from him, leaving him to die. Okay, not that dramatic but you know what I mean.
He’s doing fine somewhere on this tiny island of ours, I’m quite certain, but this will remain a regret which I’ve to live with for I do not possess the courage to correct it. Yes, once upon a time, my heart did miss a beat but now it has pretty much stayed stagnant since, as it’s not an enjoyable feeling of having one’s heart racing this moment, and wrenched painfully the other.
May it rest in peace.